Finding Balance between Work and Family
Tips for Finding Balance between Work and Family
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have. It’s also the most challenging, especially when you’re a single, working father, struggling to find a balance between your professional and personal commitments. It can be tricky and stressful trying to make it to your son’s game when you’re stuck in traffic, in the clothes you put on at 5 am for the office.
While there’s no hard and fast rule or magic formula to achieve a truly balanced life, you can find ways to ease the stress of being over committed. There are ways to combine your career, social and family life without feeling like you're spinning. They secret lies within learning to find bliss in the middle ground of wearing many hats. Here are five tips to help you prioritize your life and find fulfillment in work as well as at home:
1. Give Guilt the Boot
It's been said that comparison is the thief of joy. That means that the feeling of guilt must be related. An incredible energy vampire, guilt is useless. Feeling guilty paralyzes you and forces you to relive the past. When you stay in the present and look forward, you can say goodbye to guilt. Ask yourself: what things am I doing well now?
2. Set Boundaries
When we set boundaries, we are showing others how to treat us. Think of setting a boundary akin to drawing a line in the sandbox of life, with you on one side and the obligation or action on the other. Only you can decide what determines tolerable behavior versus that which you won’t tolerate. Set limits and take charge of your time, your way – learn to say “no.”
3. Build Bridges for Support
You may be a single father, but you don’t have to go it alone. Learn to ask for help, and create a network of emotionally healthy friends and colleagues who support your efforts to be an engaged, working parent. If you need additional assistance, you can seek out a therapist or single father’s support group and meet other like-minded individuals who can lend you an ear, and maybe even help out. Being prepared is smart.
4. Find Time for You
Being many things to lots of people is difficult. As a professional and a parent, it can be trying to go from work to family commitments, without a break. Don’t forget that you can’t give away what you don’t have. If you’re tired, find time to rest. If you’re frustrated, find a hobby or an exercise activity that gets you moving and takes your mind off your life for a while. Remember to choose a healthy outlet to fuel your energy and find a way to decompress once in a while.
5. Stay Flexible
Balancing work and home life mean staying flexible. When kids are involved, trying to control everything is exhausting and unrealistic. Remember that an illness or a traffic jam isn’t your doing and find the grace to forgive yourself.
Most single fathers want to be there for their kids, and even the hardest working professional doesn’t want to show up late for a child’s birthday party. But the reality is that one day, you may forget to pack a lunch for the school field trip. The beauty is that amazingly, your resilient child will still love you unconditionally. So take a breath and find peace knowing that your commitment to fatherhood won’t go unnoticed, even if life is unbalanced sometimes.
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